The Completion of C. S. Lewis: From War to Joy


By Harry Lee Poe

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The Completion of C. S. Lewis: From War to Joy


By Harry Lee Poe

... Show All

Loss and Love in the Final Years of C. S. Lewis’s Life

The Completion of C. S. Lewis: From War to Joy is the final volume in a trilogy on C. S. Lewis’s life. In this third book, scholar Harry Lee Poe examines the years during World War II until Lewis’s death in 1963. 

This period of his life was wrought with disappointments and tragedy, including the deaths of close friends and family, the decline of his health, and professional failings. Despite these disappointments, this time was also marked by deep and meaningful relationships with those around him, including his friendship with and marriage to Joy Davidman Gresham. Lewis used these trials and joys to write some of his bestselling books, such as The Chronicles of NarniaTill We Have Faces; and Surprised by Joy.

  • Final Book in a Trilogy: Trilogy also includes Becoming C. S. Lewis: A Biography of Young Jack Lewis (1898–1918) and The Making of C. S. Lewis: From Atheist to Apologist (1918–1945)
  • Examines Lewis’s Adult Life from 1945 to 1963: This period of his life greatly influenced some of his most famous books
  • Appeals to Fans and Scholars of Lewis: Filled with details about the ins and outs of Lewis’s life

Read Chapter 1


Harry Lee Poe

Harry Lee Poe (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the author of twenty books, including The Inklings of Oxford and C. S. Lewis Remembered, as well as numerous articles on Lewis and the Inklings. Poe hosts the annual Inklings Weekend in Montreat, North Carolina, and is a regular speaker on Lewis at universities and other venues worldwide. He served as the Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University, where he has taught a course on C. S. Lewis for over twenty years. 

Product Details

Category: History & Biography
Arts & Literature
Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 416
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 21.35 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-7102-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-7102-2
ISBN-UPC: 9781433571022
Case Quantity: 14
Published: October 11, 2022

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: The Dreary Aftermath of War: 1945–1949
Chapter 2: Work, Work, Work: 1945–1949
Chapter 3: A New Agenda and New Friends: 1945–1950
Chapter 4: Narnia and Beyond: 1949–1954
Chapter 5: The New Freedom: 1951–1954
Chapter 6: Journey to Cambridge: 1954–1955
Chapter 7: Jack and Joy: 1955–1957
Chapter 8: Married Life: 1957–1960
Chapter 9: Life without Joy: 1960–1963
Chapter 10: The Last Summer: 1963
Chapter 11: The Completion of a Life



“This magisterial conclusion to Poe’s three-volume biography of Lewis is dispositive and compelling. Here the reader meets the man, finally: C. S. Lewis in full. Required reading (including the notes!) for anyone interested in the ironies, tribulations, joys, and triumphs of a major figure of twentieth-century world literature.”
James Como, author, Mystical Perelandra; Founding Member, New York C. S. Lewis Society

“With The Completion of C. S. Lewis, Harry Lee Poe brings to conclusion his discerning and comprehensive three-volume biography. To read it is to walk side by side with Lewis through day-to-day life as well as through the life-changing events of his latter decades. The publication of this book is an event worth celebrating, and all three volumes are a must-read for Lewis admirers, scholars, and critics alike.”
Carol Zaleski, Professor of World Religions, Smith College; coauthor, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams

“In this third and final book of his entrancing biography, Harry Lee Poe covers an extraordinary continuity of unfolding events and realities—moving from the effects of Lewis’s coming of age to outstanding maturity, marked by ongoing clarity, a gripping imagination, and fresh expression. Poe’s trilogy captures Lewis’s creativity and his seemingly effortless portrayal of the relevance of Christian faith, whether to children and laypeople or scholars and friends. Here Poe’s in-depth and vivid study ranges from the end of World War II to Lewis’s passing. Prior elements of what made the man are fully brought together as concluding elements emerge, such as the grief of losing his wife and deep friend, Joy Davidman, not long before his own death. What Lewis said of his late friend Dorothy L. Sayers also applies well to him: ‘let us thank the Author who invented’ this extraordinary person.”
Colin Duriez, author, C. S. Lewis: A Biography of Friendship and Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship

“Select any event in C. S. Lewis’s life from 1945 to his death in 1963 in Harry Lee Poe’s The Completion of C. S. Lewis—from the Elizabeth Anscombe Socratic Club brouhaha, to Lewis’s tumultuous relations with J. R. R. Tolkien and T. S. Eliot, to his marriage to Joy and grieving her death—and you will encounter meticulously detailed accounts that will not only richly enhance your previous understanding of the twentieth century’s most prominent English apologist, but also prompt you to reassess previously accepted interpretations. A bonus: when Poe discusses Lewis’s Studies in Words, he also provides what could be a thesis sentence for a college apologetics course: ‘How to think as a Christian in a universe made coherent by its Creator.’”
W. Andrew Hoffecker, Professor of Church History Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Revolutions in Worldview and Charles Hodge: The Pride of Princeton

“Go into virtually any bookstore in the English-speaking world and you will find a volume or two (or more) of the works of C. S. Lewis. It really is amazing: the reading public seems to never tire of his works of fiction and powerful prose. This fact alone warrants new studies of Lewis’s thought. In this masterful conclusion to his biographical trilogy of Lewis’s life, Poe provides such a study, replete with fresh insights drawn from a lifetime of reflection upon Lewis’s literary corpus. A must-read for all who wish to profit from a remarkable Christian author. In fact, make sure to buy the two preceding volumes, which provide the background for this concluding volume in Poe’s rich biography!”
Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary